Design Thinking is a design methodology that provides a solution-based and human-centered approach to solving problems. It is extremely useful in solving wicked problems that are complex in nature and not easily understandable due to many factors involved. Design Thinking process involves the following main stages;

  • Empathize
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test
  1. Empathize: The first stage in Design Thinking involves getting an empathetic understanding of the problem under consideration. Empathy is a key element in human-centered approach. It helps to reduce the personal assumptions of the designer who wants to solve the problem, regarding the problem. More information can be received by empathizing with the affected people by talking to them, observing and understanding the situation.
  1. Define: The next stage is to define the problem based on the information gathered in the first stage of Design Thinking. The information collected in the first stage will help in stating the problem. Defining the problem also involves brainstorming session raising many questions regarding the problem.
  1. Ideate: Once understanding the problem in an empathetic way and defining the problem based on the analysis and synthesis of the observations made during the Define stage, the ideation phase begins. It involves thinking outside the box for as many solutions as possible to the problem. Many ideas are presented through different approaches including brainstorming, Brain-Write and Worse Possible Solution. By the end of the phase, the team comes up with different solutions for the problem or with identifying some invisible element of the problem.
  1. Prototype: The team will discuss the different dimensions of the problem and the possible solutions. It is an experimental phase where the designers will look for the best solution and will identify the possible constraints in solving the problem.
  1. Test: The final stage in Design Thinking is to test the solutions presented in the Prototype phase. Innovation and modifications even continue at this stage. The results found during the testing phase are often used to redefine the problem, the understanding of the affected people and to empathize.

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